Wisereads Vol. 2 — A new newsletter by Readwise
Welcome to your first Weekly Wisereads! 🙂
In this newsletter, we’ll be sharing the most highlighted documents in Readwise during the past week. Readwise users are among the most elite readers on the web, so the things they actually read and highlight — as opposed to merely save or like — represents the highest signal-to-noise content on the internet.
We'll also be curating high quality ebooks to read in Reader. This week, Paul Millerd is generously sharing his self-published book The Pathless Path. For free.
Most highlighted Articles of the week
Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter
Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. Tech journalist-cum-Substack writer Casey Newton is the latest to consider whether digital note-taking might be the same. “Thinking is an active pursuit — one that often happens when you are spending long stretches of time staring into space, then writing a bit, and then staring into space a bit more. It’s here that the connections are made and the insights are formed. And it is a process that stubbornly resists automation.”
While most of us regard journaling as an exercise for the mind, Anne-Laure Le Cunff introduces a form of journaling that might benefit the physical self. “By helping you recognize and understand your bodily signals, this method can help you enhance your emotional regulation, self-awareness, and overall well-being.”
How to Live a Happy Life, From a Leading Atheist
On the heels of his new memoir I’ve Been Thinking, philosopher Daniel Dennett explores the objectivity of truth, the danger of taking common knowledge for granted, and how to seek meaning in this precarious world in this interview with the New York Times. “Absolute truth, off the table. But practical truth? That’s real, and that’s what we’re striving for. … You don’t need miracles. You just need to understand the world the way it really is, and it’s unbelievably wonderful.”
Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week
How AI Could Save (Not Destroy) Education
In his latest TED Talk, the inimitable Sal Khan (of Khan Academy) shows us how AI is poised to revolutionize education. “I think we're at the cusp of using AI for probably the biggest positive transformation that education has ever seen. And the way we're going to do that is by giving every student on the planet an artificially intelligent but amazing personal tutor.”
Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week
One storytelling tip: Make it timeless.
Did Harry Potter pilfer the plot of Star Wars? Did Star Wars steal its storyline from the Japanese film The Hidden Fortress? Or is every great story just a new melody sung to the rhythm of an age-old drum? “[The Hero’s Journey is] a structure as old as time. That does not mean it’s boring. Quite the opposite. That means it’s timeless.”
Most highlighted PDF of the week
The Eleven Laws of Showrunning
Consistent creative output is hard, especially in a team setting. This essay by the television writer and producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (of Charmed, Lost, Law & Order, and The Witcher) is packed with practical advice no matter what your creative pursuit. “Are you strong and secure enough in your talent and accomplishment to accept the possibility that other people — properly empowered by you — can actually enhance your genius... or will you cling to the idea that only you can be the source of that genius?”
Hand-picked book of the week
The Pathless Path
Has the trajectory of your life been set more by the expectations of others than your own passions? In The Pathless Path, Paul Millerd shares the story of how he stepped off the “default path” to blaze a trail of his own, and how you might do the same. “Helping people live courageously so that they can thrive is one of the most important things in the world. I want to see people live the lives they are capable of, not just the ones they think they are allowed to live.”
Editor Note: Paul not only flipped the script on life, but also on publishing. He rejected a lucrative offer from the most prestigious publishing house in the world (Penguin Random House) in favor of self-publishing. Since then, The Pathless Path has exceeded all expectations. Despite this success, Paul is generously gifting exclusive access to his full ebook to the Readwise community.
We invite you to show thanks — if you wish — by following Paul on Twitter, subscribing to his newsletter, and buying a copy of the physical book 🙏
Handpicked RSS feed of the week
Andrew Taggart, Practical Philosopher, Ph.D.
“If work dominated your every moment, would life be worth living?” was the question posed by Andrew Taggart that set Paul Millerd on the proverbial pathless path. While Andrew once contemplated the idea of Total Work, his philosophical practice and writing now focuses on the more direct question of how to wake up. “The point is to get to the trailhead. Everything else is beside the point.”